PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is one local athlete assisting with the coronavirus relief effort. Simmons announced Friday he’s launched a new group called “The Philly Pledge.”

Simmons is encouraging Philadelphians to donate to the city’s COVID-19 relief fund and Philabundance.

Anyone who would like to donate can do so by going to www.thephillypledge.com or phlcovid19fund.org

On Friday, Mayor Jim Kenney applauded Simmons for sending a simple message to Philadelphians.

“At a time like this, it’s important and inspiring to see our city come together and for celebrities such as Ben to use their platforms to deliver a message of unity and generosity toward each other,” Kenney said. “Collectively, Ben and these individual institutions and donors are making a simple statement.

“We are all Philadelphians and we need to do what is best for the residents of our city. Ben said it best himself and I quote, ‘As a city, we always band together and no matter how far away we move in this world, Philadelphia is always our home. Through thick and thin, wins and losses, championships and busts, we always come together in a time of need and we leave no one behind.'”

Kenney says the PHL COVID-19 Fund is complementing the work of public health officials and expanding the capacity of nonprofit organizations working on the frontlines of this pandemic.

According to Kenney, hundreds of residents have donated to the fund.

“Most inspiring is that over 700 of you all felt compelled to support your community during this time and personally donated to this fund, contributing amounts starting at $25, toward a total of $150,000 raised on the website to date,” Kenney said.

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Overall, Kenney says $8.25 million has been donated to the fund in nine days since its launch.

The Sixers’ All-Star point guard joins his teammate, Joel Embiid, in donating to coronavirus relief.

Earlier this week, Embiid pledged $500,000 to help with the COVID-19 relief.